Three dropped shots in his final four holes not only kept Aaron Baddeley from contending at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but denied him a start at The Open at Royal Portrush in July.
Starting the final round tied for third and just two shots off the pace, Baddeley was 1-under through nine holes but two bogeys and a double-bogey at the par-4 15th saw him drop into a tie for 17th, seven shots behind winner Francesco Molinari.
Molinari’s Bay Hill triumph was fitting given that the top three players, not otherwise exempt, earned a position in the field for The Open, Baddeley’s double at 15 and bogey at the par-3 17th dropping him out of contention.
Baddeley’s tee shot at the 15th travelled out of bounds forcing him to re-load from the tee, making a par with his second ball for a score of six.
In a challenging week where deep rough and firm playing surfaces placed a premium on driving the ball, Baddeley roared up the leaderboard with a run of four birdies in five holes on the back-9 of his third round, his final round of 2-over 74 enough to log his fourth top-20 finish of the year.
While Baddeley went backwards on Sunday, Marc Leishman continued his strong association with Bay Hill, a round of 2-under 70 lifting him nine places up the leaderboard and into a tie for 23rd.
Jason Day is in doubt for this week’s Player’s Championship after withdrawing early in his first round citing a back injury.
Arnold Palmer Invitational|
Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge, Florida
On the Champions Tour, Victorian David McKenzie recorded his first top-10 finish in close to a year at the Hoag Classic at Newport Beach Country Club in California.
A back-9 birdie blitz in his second round vaulted McKenzie into a tie for second heading into the final round but three bogeys on the front-9 effectively ended his charge at a maiden Champions Tour title.
He bounced back with birdies at 10 and 12 which moved him to within reach of the top-5 until a dropped shot at the par-5 final hole saw McKenzie post a 2-over 73 to finish tied for 10th.
| Champions Tour|
Newport Beach Country Club, California
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